For beginners

Harp Courses for Beginners

The Edinburgh International Harp Festival includes courses for beginners, both children and adults.  Harps are supplied for the beginners’ courses.

Ardival Harps in Scotland run weekend beginners’ courses each year for those who have no experience of playing the harp.  It is not necessary to be able to read music for these courses.  Harps are provided and there is an opportunity to try different kinds of harps.

Ailie Robertson runs a beginners’ harp course as video lessons.

The Little Harp Social harp learning programme takes place in four different locations – East Croydon, London; Stokesley, Middlesborough; the Sussex coast; and online.

Janet Harbison runs beginner level courses for adults in Warwick.

Harp Taster workshops

Morley Harps in Gloucestershire run ‘Hands on the Harp’ sessions at their showrooms and some festivals.

Trial Lessons

Most harp teachers are happy to give a trial lesson to an absolute beginner.  For contact details, see our list of teachers.

Hire or buy a harp?

The easiest way to start is to hire a harp.

Subsequently it is possible to buy an instrument second hand.

Finding a teacher

On this website, see the list of teachers who teach the lever harp in London & the south-east, and other places to look for a teacher.

Financial assistance

Members of the Clarsach Society may apply for the annual scholarship of the Clarsach Society.  Branch members of the London & South-East branch may also apply for assistance from the branch fund.

The London & South-East branch also has three 34 string lever harps available for loan at no charge, each for a 12-month period.

The ‘Take it away scheme aims to make musical instruments more accessible to children and young people by providing interest-free loans of up to £5,000.

Awards for Young Musicians makes awards to young musicians each year, to support all the major costs of a young musician’s training, such as lessons, buying an instrument, travel and specialist courses.

Finding harp music

Harp music is generally best purchased through one of the harp makers/dealers or specialist publishers of which there are a number in the UK.  Harp festivals offer an opportunity to browse music before buying it.

More resources

A ‘Beginners’ Guide’ is published on Morley Harps website, and there is a list of useful FAQ’s on Pilgrim Harps website